Thanks everyone for all your support yesterday. I felt incredibly vulnerable after publishing yesterdays post, but today I am so glad I did. I feel better.
In other news, I have had a few people kindly ask me if they could use my images on their blogs to accompany their posts, so I thought it would be a good idea to make my thoughts on that topic clear and write a post about it.
I have absolutely no problem with anyone who wants to use any of my images that I post here for personal use. Whether you would like to use a particular image for your personal blog post, pin it on your Pinterest, share it on Facebook just because you like it, or even use my image as your screen saver, that is fine with me and I am flattered that you enjoy my photos. I have licensed all my photos under a Creative Commons – Non commercial – No derivatives license which basically means that you are free to share my work for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit me, link back to my blog and don’t make any changes to the original image.
I feel a little pompous for posting this because I am a HUGE AMATEUR, but it is a topic I started thinking about after I received a few requests to use my images on personal blogs, and some other people warned me about being too liberal in sharing my work so freely because of thieves.
Here’s what I think…
My entire motivation for having this blog is to support my desire to create and share. Taking photos and writing are creative activities that I enjoy immensely. I enjoy my time that I go out to take photos, to edit them, and to write my thoughts down to accompany them. In my view, creation is incomplete without sharing. When other people express to me that they enjoy my work so much that they would also like to share it, it is icing on the cake and makes me very happy. Please do share and I will also share others whose creative output inspires me and I will credit and link back to you and I expect the same in return. It’s like an honour system.
I am not a professional nor do I make any money off of what I do here, so I’m the first to acknowledge that this is probably really easy for me to say. The only sure way to protect your work from thieves on the internet is to not share it online. Even when you put watermarks on your photos, a thief can easily crop it or smudge it out. Frustrating, wrong and unfair? Yes it is indeed and it’s a crappy realization to know there are jack asses out there who will take your work and try to pawn it off as their own, and even worse try to make a buck off of it. I don’t like it either. It is maddening and soul sucking.
However, when my efforts to prevent thieves from stealing my work trumps my desire to express myself creatively and share…well, that is something that does not feel good to me and I don’t feel like going down that road. My creative time is too important to me to let it become all about them and not about me. I realize that I am a huge idealist, but I’m not stupid and I have carefully thought this through. This is what feels good for me. If it turns out that this approach does not work, then I will change it.
Yesterday I wrote about my doubts of having spiritual faith in the world, God and the universe. Today I realize I do still have some faith. I have faith in humanity. I believe that there are more good people than bad in the world, even on the big bad internet. My experience tells me that these good people have good intentions and will happily share creative work that inspires them, with proper attribution. I believe that some of these people will also pay money to the artists for the privilege of having their art hang in their homes or offices. I trust that if those people happen to come across my work or yours that is not shared in an honourable way, that they will let us know. And I promise you this – you can have faith in me that I will do the same thing in return.